German raccoon with soulful eyes.
Photo: AP

New Yorkers have this oddly persistent reputation for being jaded, but perhaps it’s more accurate to say that certain items get tuned out due to the overwhelming amount of shit there is to notice in the city, and the anxious acuity of its inhabitants. Such a condition would be fertile ground for misunderstandings and hyperbole. Speaking of which….

The New York Post reported that on Thursday several panic-stricken New Yorkers mistook a large raccoon for a small tiger.

Police reportedly received two separate 911 calls about a tiger roaming the streets of Manhattan in the early morning. Arriving at the scene, cops found only a raccoon.

This is what it looked like to follow that story via news updates:

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The tale of the tiger-like raccoon then became a huge bummer when New York’s Animal Care Centers took custody of the creature, brought it to their “facility,” and promptly euthanized it in accordance with the law (raccoons are a vector species and carry a high risk of getting and transmitting rabies).

Very sad. I pray to never encounter one of Manhattan’s engorged wildcat raccoons.